The housing market is set to return to a kind of normalcy next year, as it appears homeowners are setting a New Year resolution to move.
The market has been strangled by historically low stock levels but according to Rightmove, valuation requests from home-owners are up 19 per cent on this time a year ago.
Buyers are still keen as the year comes to a close. Last month, buyer numbers were up 41 per cent on 2019, and still three per cent up on last year.
More of a balanced market between buyers and sellers will encourage more hesitant movers who may have held back this year, Rightmove added.
According to the property website’s latest house price index, the price of property coming to market is down by 0.7 per cent this month, with a standard Christmas dip.
Seven out of 10 properties advertised on the platform are currently marked as sold subject to contract, compared to just two out of ten back in 2012. The platform reiterated its forecast of a further five per cent price rise next year.
Some 1.5m completed home sales are anticipated for the full 2021 year, with 2021 already seeing the highest level of sales since 2007, with two months of data still to be reported.
Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s director of property data, explained: “The kind of frenzied market we’ve seen in the last 18 months happens only a few times in most home-owners’ buying and selling lifetimes, exacerbated by the even rarer event of a global pandemic pushing homes higher up most people’s priorities.”
Despite the pandemic making an “ever-changing impact on society,” Bannister said a housing market resembling normalcy was likely in the next year.
He added: “A return to a less frenetic market due to more choice, and forecast slightly higher interest rates, will suit many movers who have held back during the last 18 hectic months.”
What’s more, a rise in interest rates could slow the fast pace of sales and connected price rises, helping the market return to normal and reassuring hesitant movers, Bannister added.